This week’s roundup covers some state immigration news and a few book reviews.
The Migration Policy Institute released a policy paper on making U.S. immigration policy more responsive to changing economic and labor conditions while protecting workers’ rights. MPI Senior Fellow and former Commissioner of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service Doris Meissner stated, "The current economic crisis brings into stark relief the inflexibility of the U.S. immigration system in comparison with the highly dynamic and constantly evolving global economy. Now, more than ever, the United States needs an immigration system that better serves U.S. economic and social interests by being sensitive to economic fluctuations, both up and down." The report can be found here (PDF).
In Arizona, immigration advocates called on lawmakers to support immigration policies that uphold communities, consider long-term economic health and stability, and protect workers’ rights.
In Rhode Island, lawmakers are considering a bill to require private companies to use E-Verify to check employees’ immigration status. Immigration advocates argue that the system is flawed and discriminates against minority candidates.
Utah just passed a new immigration law that does not have provisions for private companies to hire documented workers only.
In California, newly naturalized Americans – 300,000 just last year – are poised to significantly alter the political landscape. An additional 8 million immigrants are eligible for citizenship. New citizenship applications have drastically decreased this year, partly due to the steep $675 application fee.
In New York City, the Public Advocate and the New York Immigration Coalition have produced a Guide to Public Benefits for Immigrants. It is available in six languages.
The Iowa Immigration Education Coalition convener Alicia Claypool wrote a column for the Des Moines Register proposing seven principles to guide immigration reform. They are:
-Create smart enforcement;
-Create an employment based program to meet workplace and economic needs;
-Keep American families together;
-Create a path to citizenship;
-Strengthen our nation’s security and borders;
-Promote immigrant integration; and
-Protect fundamental rights for all.
ImmigrationProf Blog has a summary of new immigration papers from the Social Science Research Network. Included is The Rights of Migrants from New York University Law Review which looks at what states and migrants want from each other under a variety of circumstances. There is also a review of John Island’s book on Immigration and Race in the United States which uses U.S. Census data to examine the impact of immigration on housing patterns.
Christianity Today also has a review of Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang. Reviewer Tony Carnes writes, "Ultimately, immigration is not an abstraction; it is about families’ hopes, dreams, and sufferings."
For more, read The Opportunity Agenda’s blog.